House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's appearance tonight at a book signing in Coral Gables is sparking a protest by a group of "concerned citizens, worried about prices at the pump." The group says its protesting Pelosi's decision to go on recess for the month of August -- and not take up bills to expand offshore oil drilling.
"It is disturbing that while American citizens are paying over four dollars a gallon at the pump, that the Speaker would adjourn Congress for 5 weeks without allowing a vote on possible solutions to the energy crisis," said event coordinator Armando Ibarra.
The Republican Party of Florida yesterday sent out an e-mail urging respondents to protest Pelosi's appearance, but Ibarra says his protest isn't related.
"I'm not coordinating with them, it's just and families I reached out to," he said. He said the group includes people from across the "political spectrum," though a Facebook aficionado notes that an Armando Ibarra was recently "tagged" in a photo participating in a campaign kickoff for Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Miami.
The RPOF e-mail, obtained by Naked Politics, urges respondents to "Join us as we question Pelosi in Miami! Join us tomorrow, Wed., Aug 6, as we protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi during her visit to Miami promoting her new book. Pelosi has decided to adjourn Congress early and take a 5 week vacation to sell her book instead of solving our nation’s energy problem. Apparently Speaker Pelosi thinks it’s more important to sell her book then help American’s during these hard times and deal with the energy debate. We hope to see you there!"
Word of the protests come as House Republicans continue to stage a revolt at the Capitol, assailing Pelosi in a darkened chamber as amused tourists look on. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stopped by the protest today to lend support.
Pelosi's office, however, notes that a majority of House Republicans voted against 13 "major proposals" put forth by Democrats that aim to increase energy supplies.
"How can Republicans claim to want to help consumers and businesses when they oppose these policies?" her office asked.
Pelosi is also scheduled to raise money tonight for Joe Garcia, who is challenging Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart for re-election. An e-mail from Garcia's camp notes that Pelosi is "coming to endorse Joe Garcia in Miami...before the end of the filing period.
"Nancy Pelosi knows the kind of leadership South Florida's families deserve," the e-mail says. "She knows that with gas at $4 and South Florida leading the country in foreclosure rates, our community deserves a Congressman, like Joe, who will stand up for children and families, not lobbyists and special interest groups.
"That's why she is taking time out of her busy schedule to let America know that we need Joe Garcia."